Keenan Blog

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Are You A Distracted Walker?

Kathy Espinoza 3/7/2016
Kathy Espinoza


Fifty years ago a public service announcement ran on television in response to a major increase in fatalities and serious injuries from automobile accidents. The message to drivers: “Watch out for the other guy.” While modern cars and roads are safer since then, new hazards have emerged. With the nearly universal use of mobile devices and our tendency to multitask to accomplish everything on our plates, we are now in an era of distracted driving. But we also encounter dangers of distraction even when we’re not driving. Our hectic lives seem to make us focus too much on the texts and emails – or even streaming video to catch up on past episodes of our favorite shows – appearing instantaneously on our smart phones.

It’s called “Distracted Walking.”

We can’t take walking too casually because distractions can come from any direction, making it just as important to “watch out for the other guy.”  Inattention while a pedestrian in a crosswalk or in a parking lot can be deadly. Distracted walking can lead to injury even when there isn’t “another guy.”

blog_distractedRecent trends indicate that the growing use of mobile phones and devices may be contributing to the risk of slipping or falling. These few, simple reminders can make the difference between getting where you planned to go or taking an unexpected detour to the emergency room:

  1. Treat walking like driving – give it your full, undivided attention.
  2. Stop when you talk, text or read on your mobile device.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings.
  4. Look ahead.

Distraction can cause injuries from slips and falls but more so when coupled with an aging workforce that has changes in vision, strength, balance and reaction time. At the end of the day, a busy, multitasking workforce may simply be too distracted to notice the red flags that warn of a slip/fall hazard in their path.

Our Keenan online safety training platforms include specific Slip, Trip and Fall prevention courses designed to help employees reduce their risks. There are several course options tailored to various employee groups.